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Title: The Tea Party [Freedom Caucus], Not Democrats or Republicans, Is the Problem
Source: The Daily Beast
URL Source: https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-t ... -or-republicans-is-the-problem
Published: Oct 20, 2013
Author: JON FAVREAU
Post Date: 2018-02-12 06:00:36 by Gatlin
Keywords: None
Views: 1273
Comments: 52

The Tea Party [Freedom Caucus], Not Democrats or Republicans, Is the Problem.

It’s de rigueur to decry ‘partisanship’ as Washington’s ‘real problem.’ Let’s get real—the most destructive force in American politics today is the Tea Party, says Jon Favreau.

So now that our government is open and able to pay its bills, what soon-to-be-forgotten lessons have we learned from this sorry fiasco?

Perhaps most important is the reminder that political temper tantrums in Washington exact a toll that goes far beyond unfavorable headlines and worse-than-dog-poo poll numbers. This decision hurt people. Some families couldn’t pay their bills. Others had nowhere safe to send their children while they worked. Poor women lost vouchers that helped buy food and formula for their newborns. Cancer treatments were put on hold for patients who didn’t have much time to waste.

All told, the shutdown and flirtation with default cost America north of $20 billion. The countries that weren’t busy mocking us were frightened by our behavior, wondering if the world’s wealthiest nation would become the world’s deadbeat nation, taking everyone else down with us in a global collapse worse than 2008.

And for what? For what purpose was this pain and humiliation inflicted upon the American people?

Yes, you, Rep. Marlin Stutzman from Indiana. Do you have an answer?

“We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Oh.

Which brings me to the second shutdown lesson. As a country, we may never get a more revealing, disturbing look at the true source of Washington’s dysfunction than we did over the last few weeks. Together, we endured a 21-hour non- filibuster speech from White Castle enthusiast Ted Cruz that was so devoid of self-awareness I’m not even sure he knew he was giving it. We saw Sarah Palin come all the way back from the small town of Irrelevancy, Alaska, to lead the charge against an open-air memorial that was blocked by a 3-foot barricade, while a few assholes waved Confederate flags outside the White House and reminded each other that Obama’s a Muslim, just for good measure.

We saw the shutdown rationale shift from defunding Obamacare to delaying Obamacare to cutting spending to reforming entitlements to charging congressional staffers more for health insurance to cutting taxes for stethoscope manufacturers to something, anything that would embarrass the president. As we inched closer to the abyss, we witnessed a parade of right-wing mathletes run the numbers and confidently deny the economic catastrophe that would result from America’s first-ever financial default. And as the speaker of the House made one last half-hearted effort to save his caucus from total defeat, we watched Jim DeMint’s Heritage Foundation kill the plan with a press release, a move just about everyone saw coming that only served to remind us who’s really in charge.

In Official Washington, decrying “partisanship” as the “real problem” is the prerequisite for being taken seriously as a smart, unbiased political commentator. But from where we stand right now, partisanship is not the problem. Democrats are not the problem. Republicans are not the problem. The relationship between President Obama and John Boehner is not the problem.

The Tea Party is the problem.

The Tea Party is the most destructive force in American politics today. Over the last few weeks, it has demonstrated again that its intent is not to shake up the establishment but to burn down the village. As a Democrat, I disagree with its policy positions, but its policy positions alone are not what make the Tea Party so dangerous. What makes the Tea Party dangerous is its members’ willful disregard for the most basic tenets of American democracy. They do not believe in the legitimacy of our president. They do not believe in the legitimacy of decisions handed down by our Supreme Court. Unlike President Obama, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, or a host of other Democratic and Republican lawmakers who grasp the basic reality of politics, they have never, not once shown a willingness to compromise on anything. Merely uttering the word is enough to draw a primary challenge.

All this, despite the fact that the Tea Party represents the views of a small, ever- shrinking fraction of Americans. Even within the Republican Party, its members’ favorability hovers around 50 percent, the lowest of all time. Their recent legislative strategy, a word that can be used only in its loosest sense, led to 144 Tea Party House members voting against a bipartisan compromise simply to open the government and avert default. But when Reuters polled people who weren’t satisfied with last week’s outcome, only 2 percent said it was because the House passed the Senate’s bipartisan bill. Only 5 percent said it was because Republicans compromised. Only 3 percent said it was because default would have taught our government an important lesson. Most people said their main dissatisfaction was with the ugly process the Tea Party dragged us all through.

And yet, somehow, this small minority of Tea Party House members, who represent less than one half of one legislative body in one branch of government, has been given enormous influence over the national agenda—a situation without precedent in American political history. It’s insanity.

The president and Boehner can hang out, drink beers, play golf, and shake hands on all kinds of deals. Boehner has been open to revenue in the past. Obama has put entitlement cuts on the table that made his party uncomfortable. The Senate has already passed bipartisan immigration legislation, and there are enough Republicans and Democrats in Congress who are willing to compromise and make progress on any number of issues.

But Boehner was, in his own words, “overrun” by the Tea Party during the shutdown, and so long as he and other Republicans fear challenges from the fringe more than the frustrations of the majority, nothing will get done. And we will find ourselves in the same predicament again and again, regardless of who is elected president or speaker or majority leader.

The Republican Party is at war with itself. And as tempting as it might be for Democrats to gloat from the sidelines, it is in all of our interests—Democrats, independents, and Republicans—to make sure the Tea Party doesn’t win. In 2014, candidates of both parties should challenge their rivals to sign a No Shutdown Pledge and a No Default Pledge. In House races, candidates should be asked whether they’re willing to violate the ridiculous Hastert rule and allow simple up-or-down votes on legislation that could pass with bipartisan support, no matter who holds the majority. In Senate races, they should be asked whether they’re willing to make it harder for bipartisan legislation to be filibustered by a Ted Cruz or a Mike Lee.

Democrats and Republicans can argue all they want over the role of government, but we cannot allow the Tea Party to continue holding the country hostage over its kamikaze mission to destroy government. The vast majority of Americans reject that mission, and we’re not about to sacrifice ourselves or our democracy as collateral damage. It’s time for all of us to get together and fight the crazy.

Poster Comment:
Jon Favreau is a Democrat and wrote this article for The Daily Beast back in October, 2013. He says that the Tea Party [Freedom Caucus] is the most destructive force in American politics today. And what makes the Tea Party dangerous is its members’ willful disregard for the most basic tenets of American democracy. They have never, not once shown a willingness to compromise on anything. Where is Jon Favreau wrong?

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Begin Trace Mode for Comment # 2.

#2. To: Gatlin (#0) (Edited)

Poster Comment: Jon Favreau is a Democrat and wrote this article for The Daily Beast back in October, 2013. He says that the Tea Party [Freedom Caucus] is the most destructive force in American politics today. And what makes the Tea Party dangerous is its members’ willful disregard for the most basic tenets of American democracy. They have never, not once shown a willingness to compromise on anything. Where is Jon Favreau wrong?

Have you gone to the dark side quoting Obama's Director of Speechwriting.

He is Wrong and so are you. Democrats are always a problem. The tea party is was the solution. You're sounding like a snowflake. The budget needs to be balanced. You are completely wrong here. Rand Paul and the freedom caucus are correct.

You don't compromise with evil you defeat it.

That is what got us in this boat half assed compromise.

Did we compromise with the British? No we defeated them.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-02-12   7:50:09 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


Replies to Comment # 2.

#11. To: A K A Stone (#2)

Have you gone to the dark side …
I have not gone to the dark side, I remain on the bright side where I now still see the light. And that light is shining brightly to show me that: “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.” So, I have gone no place, the problem has come to me….the problem has come to all of us.
… quoting Obama's Director of Speechwriting.
There is nothing wrong in doing that….you need to realize how important it is to understand your enemy. If you don’t read what your enemy has to say and learn from it....then in Heavens name how do you expect to defeat the enemy. A closed mind is a dangerous thing. In the :Patton” movie, General George Patton said: "Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!" As he stood on the hill overlooking the valley where his tanks were obliterating Rommel’s forces. Patton did not act ignorantly to say: “I’m not going to read the siht that Ervin put out.”

If you don’t read and learn from your enemy, and then use the learned information.....you cannot expect to defeat your enemy. You have lost from the beginning if you don’t know your enemy. Andwhen you fail to recognize and deal with a problem and all you can do is put your blinders on, stand around and wave pom poms while yelling “Rah-Rah Rand”....then you are doomed to live with the problem and continue to complain about it.

Moving on …

I unequivocally asked: “Where is Jon Favreau wrong?”

And your response was:

He is Wrong …
That’s no answer. So, I will ask you again to tell me where he is worng.
… and so are you [wrong].
About WHAT?
Democrats are always a problem.
Democrats are a nusiance. However, the Democrats do create a problem when it comes to getting enough votes to pass a bill. But the problem in not getting a bill passed, the REAL problem is getting a bill submitted to pass. And who causes this MAJOR problem? thing about it. Then remember me saying: “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.” Here come the Freedom Caucus …
The tea party is was the solution.
Okay, since you believe that....then you will have absolutely no problem explaining to me why they are the solution and tell me specifically what they have done. Can you do that? I suspect not.
You're sounding like a snowflake.
No, I am not. But you sure are thinking like one. Since you fail to fully realize the Tea Party is more unpopular with Americans than ever....including among Republicans. Polls continue to show this. It is a steep decline.
The budget needs to be balanced.
Of course it does.
You are completely wrong here.
No, you are the one that is wrong here. You are wrong because I NEVER said the budget did not need to be balances. You need to start reading what I say and stop reading what you THINK that I say.
Rand Paul and the freedom caucus are correct.
Yes, they are correct in saying what is wrong and what should be done about it.
You don't compromise with evil you defeat it.
And when you don’t defeat evil…what do you do then? You must learn to handle it. Just as we must learn to handle the malignant narcissists who love to make everything about them and say their way is the ONLY way.
That is what got us in this boat half assed compromise.
How so?
Did we compromise with the British? No we defeated them.
Did we have a “Freedom Caucus back then trying to tell us their way was the ONLY way to run the war?

No, thank God....we did not.

Gatlin  posted on  2018-02-12 11:08:35 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: A K A Stone (#2)

He is Wrong and so are you. Democrats are always a problem.

They have been THE problem ever since the Dim Party was formed because their goal from day one was to destroy our Republic and replace it with a Stalinist Democracy.

"Fairness" demands that everyone but the leaders suffer equally.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-02-12 11:58:17 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


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